As a restorative dentist, one of the keys to providing precise, accurate, comfortable, predictable, and efficient care is the use of advanced technologies during clinical procedures. The goal of any technological advancement is to make the procedure faster, better, and more cost effective. Rarely do modern technologies meet all of these characteristics. As a result, I first look for technologies that make me better. Next, I consider if it will be more efficient. Will it provide ROI or at least make financial sense? Finally, can I use this technology with other technologies to amplify my efficiency and further improve the results?
I have owned diode lasers in the past, and I have used the electrosurge extensively. The benefits of the laser over the electrosurge are numerous: the ability to use safely with and around dental implants, significantly less surrounding tissue damage, less risk of damaging a natural tooth, less pain, no need to ground the patient, etc. My biggest critique of the lasers I owned was the lack of power to do the job both effectively and efficiently. Precise LTM laser changed that immediately, and I now use it almost every day, several times a day.
The Precise LTM is most commonly used for:
- Uncovering dental implants when there is adequate keratinized soft tissue or the tissue has simply covered over an already exposed dental implant
- contouring soft tissue in the aesthetic zone to achieve symmetry when gingivectomy is indicated over osseous crown lengthening
- removing redundant inflamed tissue around crown preparations
- troughing for particularly deeper crown margins prior to intraoral scanning
I use the LTM laser almost daily to create optimum tissues, particularly around crown preparations. It serves the dual purpose of aiding in retraction for intraoral scanning (IOS) and in hemorrhage management. In past years, I would have suffered with cord (which I still use) and hemostatic agent when working in an area with less than ideal tissue. Now I simply utilize the laser to make efficient and small changes to the tissue. This results in significant and fast improved tissue health, but it also makes impression or scanning of the final preparation easier and faster.
I try to utilize more than one technology for a given procedure and the two that have met my needs the best are: IOS and the Precise LTM Diode Laser. Their importance is on par with my high-speed handpiece. Both provide better clinical results, make me more efficient, and wow the patients, and I enjoy practicing much more with them!
The synergy between the laser and IOS technology makes conventional crown and bridge techniques seem antiquated.
Originally published in Sidekick Magazine.
About the Author: Dr. Purcell currently maintains a private practice limited to Prosthodontics at Spectrum Dental & Prosthodontics in Worthington, Ohio. He lectures nationally in all areas of restorative dentistry and continues to publish articles related to restorative dentistry. Dr. Purcell maintains Spectrum Dental Society, which is an integrated continuing education facility providing a multitude of courses for practicing dentists and their teams. Dr. Purcell can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the continuing education website at: SpectrumDentalSociety.com.